1.10.2012

Better.

Tonight when I left work I decided to walk for a while before I got in the subway. I headed down 3rd avenue, crossing busy 42nd Street, and I passed a man who dropped his glove. I noticed it out of the corner of my eye, enough to make me turn my head to see the full drop, but I was walking quickly and listening to a podcast and a few yards further when I fully realized the scene.

I didn't stop to tell him.

There had been a split second when I could have turned back, when he wouldn't have been lost in the sidewalk crowd. But I actively decided not to stop him. I'm not quite sure why.

I then spent the next 30 blocks thinking about this lack of movement on my part. I imagined how much the gloves had cost him, how disappointed he would be when he realized his loss. To tell the truth, I kind of beat myself up about it.

I felt like a bad human being. Like a bad New Yorker. And the worst part was that a part of me didn't care.

*

Yesterday I made a list in my head of all the things I could still end up being. Singer-songwriter. Doctor. Trader Joe's check-out person. Life Coach. Librarian. Director of Fun Programs at a Senior Citizen Center. Florist, farmer, writer, baker, tour guide, cross-stitcher, yoga instructor, B&B owner, actress, historian. Mom. Sommelier. Aunt. Giraffe trainer. 

The freedom to imagine that grand, sweeping changes could still occur in this life is one of my most precious needs. 

*

The part that kills me is that someone pointed out my dropped glove just last week. It was on the sidewalk outside our building when I was shuffling an iPhone, headphones, lunch bag and bag with laptop. I juggled, I dropped. And someone retrieved.

I couldn't be that person today for someone else. I had been a great many things to a great many people all day and I was a little worn out. I feel bad about it. 

But tomorrow is tomorrow and maybe I will aim to save a tiny bit of kindness for my evening. I won't spend it all during the day. I'll let it leak out in a steady stream, cautious of who and how I am when I get home. 

Tomorrow I'll do better.

1 comment:

yitznewton said...

I think I've had three dropped-item opportunities already this season. I blew the first when the guy darted out the train door, and my brain seized long enough to miss it. I got the last two :)